Personal/Corporate, Safety

NTSB: R44 was ‘Rocking Back and Forth’ Before Fatal Crash in Virginia

By Amy Kluber | July 25, 2018
Send Feedback | @amykluber

File photo

The Robinson Helicopter R44 II that crashed into a Williamsburg, Virginia, apartment earlier this month was "rocking back and forth unsteadily" before it went down, according to eyewitness accounts included in the NTSB's preliminary report of the fatal accident.

The R44 crashed July 8 into a 10-unit apartment complex, killing both the 85-year-old pilot and a 91-year-old apartment resident, according to the FAA.

Advertisement

Witnesses say the helicopter was flying low, perhaps 100 feet above the ground. It had been "flying relatively straight and level or slight descending before pitching nose down and descending into the roof of the building," the NTSB report said. Another witness noticed the engine making a "constant sound."

Examination of the wreckage revealed most of the helicopter had been consumed or damaged in a post-crash fire, the report noted.

The investigation is ongoing.

Receive the latest rotorcraft news right to your inbox